BLOGS

Everybody loves tags

I spotted this set of Google AdSense ads alongside a blog post talking about everyone’s favorite Web 2.0 activity, tagging. Readers should note that my tags do not come with “free biological support.”

Flock, a browser for bloggers

Flock, a Firefox-based browser with special features for bloggers, is now available in “Developer Preview” form. Because it’s based on Firefox, stability and performance are pretty well ironed out. The interesting stuff, in brief, is: bookmark/favorite storage via del.icio.us fulltext searching of all pages in your history integrated “blog this” tool (supporting the common APIs) that works not just with URLs but with text selections within pages Those are the ones that struck me the most, but there’s more; read the intro pages that appear by default when you launch Flock.

Blog Usability Showdown: Me vs. Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen, who you of course know as “the usability Pope” and “the next best thing to a true time machine," recently published an essay titled “Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes”. I’m going to run down his ten-point list and weigh his “Alertbox” pages against my blog according to each of his criteria. Now, you might say that this isn’t fair since Alertbox is a newsletter, not a blog, and that he’s been doing it since 1995, long before “blogging” was even a word.

More on "Splogs"

“Splog” as a label for spam blogs seems to be taking off. I’m not crazy about it, because I think the challenges and possible solutions of fake-blog spam sites have huge overlap with fake-portal and fake-search-engine link farms. The difference is mostly significant to people who run blog indexing services. Not to discount their needs or their efforts. J. Scott Johnson, CTO of Feedster, weighs in today with a piece in Online Media Daily.

Fixing Web Spam

Over on the Technorati blog I see that there’s a summit on web spam happening next week. That’s good. Link farms and spam blogs have been driving me batty. For combatting the phenomenon from inside tools like Technorati, IceRocket, Feedster, Google Blog Search, and so on, I think our best bet may be collaborative reporting similar to the Razor or Pyzor email-spam-reporting networks. On the model of Craigslist, last month Blogger introduced a “Flag” button at the top of the screen of all Blogspot-hosted blogs, which is on the right track.

Blogging as R&D

Journalist and author David Kline, who I know from the Well, has launched a new blog, Blogrevolt, hot on the heels of his new book, blog! (which I’m betting has something to do with blogging). He’s wondering about companies using blogs to solicit ideas for products: Which companies are already experimenting with “product definition” blogging? What are the results so far, and how are these firms dealing with the potential confidentiality and competitiveness issues that R&D blogging entails?

Google blog search

Google has launched a blog search tool. Given how long it took them to get around to it, it’s rather underwhelming. Also, I’m seeing a lot of spam blogs in the results – despite my recent attempts to mock such sites into oblivion they seem to be flourishing. Some Craigslist-style flagging options (also now offered by some blog hosting services) are sorely needed.